Teenager Jake Griffin Readies Eldora Speedway Debut
Teenager Jake Griffin Readies Eldora Speedway Debut
NEW WESTON, Ohio
Knight Motorsports Management
July 20, 2015
– In an 11th hour agreement, 16-year-old Jake Griffin will attempt to make his third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start of the season at the famed Eldora Speedway in Wednesday night’s highly anticipated 1-800-CAR-CASH Mudsummer Classic.
The youngest winner in NASCAR Touring Series history will partner with Affarno Motorsports for the third-annual event in the No. 03 Advance Trading / Outdoor Power Inc. Chevrolet Silverado. Affarno Motorsports, owned by racer Michael Affarno is hoping to make their third NCWTS start of the season Wednesday night.
“I’m very excited about this opportunity to drive for Affarno Motorsports and compete in Wednesday’s race at Eldora,” said Griffin. “We were planning to run this event with MB Motorsports, but circumstances out of everyone’s control prevented that from happening.
“Without the support of Advance Trading and Outdoor Power Inc. and everyone this race would not be possible.”
With a unique format to set the starting grid for the 1-800-CAR-CASH Mudsummer Classic, Griffin knows the importance of utilizing track time during practice on Wednesday before the heat races, which determine the starting grid. Of course, Griffin is hoping that his experience in UMP Modifieds on the dirt will pay off significantly.
“You’d like to think we might have a slim advantage over those with little or no experience on the dirt, but this is NASCAR at its finest,” added Griffin. “I’ve watched the past two trucks races from Eldora and now I have an opportunity to be a part of the magic it creates. Hopefully, we can have a smooth day and when it’s time to race, we’ll be in the hunt.”
Despite putting the partnership together late last week, team owner Michael Affarno is excited to have the young-gun aboard. "Jake has a tremendous amount of talent and is one of the fastest rising stars in NASCAR,” said Affarno. “To be able to have him to drive the 03 Chevrolet is a fantastic opportunity for our team. We can’t wait for Wednesday to roll around so we can get Jake out onto the track."
Making starts earlier this season at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and Iowa Speedway respectively, Griffin hasn’t been afraid to showcase his talent, which became evident in qualifying in his most recent race at Iowa last month, where he qualified a note-worthy 15th.
“I’ve had a blast at Martinsville and Iowa,” Griffin recalled. “And yes, while the finishes weren’t what we had hoped, the experience in a truck was priceless. I have plenty of experience on dirt and I think that plus the seat time I’ve had this season puts me in a better position as if I was coming to Eldora Speedway for my truck debut.”
As far as expectations for Wednesday night’s Mudsummer Classic, the Quincy, Illinois native is being completely realistic.
“We’re not locked in by any means and there’s more than a full field, so number one priority is getting ourselves into the race. Unlike a traditional race weekend such as Iowa, we have two chances at Eldora. The heat races will help determine our start for the feature. But, if we can’t transfer in through the heat race, we’ll have that last chance race as a backup.
“You never want to think about competing in that last chance race, but we’ve seen some pretty exciting finishes because of it. Once we’re in the race, our goal is to finish. We would be ecstatic with a top-15 run, but if we can see the green flag and take the checkered, it will be a positive day for us and the team, especially considering how late this came together.”
While extremely busy enjoying his summer as a teenager, while racing UMP modifieds as well as Late Models on the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series tour, Griffin is focused on the future, which he hopes will include more truck races.
“We’re still trying to iron things out long term,” added Griffin. “Everyone at MB Motorsports has been absolutely great to work with and they believe in me. I’m hoping I’ll be able to race with them later this season. Right now though, we’re focused on racing and doing everything we can to be around a little more often.”
In addition to Advance Trading and Outdoor Power Inc., Griffin welcomes Central Metals Recycling, Microtel Inn and Suites, Priority One, FastWraps and Kimberly Auto Group as associate sponsors for his Eldora Speedway debut. Furthermore, Griffin the rising phenom will continue to advocate for P.A.D.D. (People Against Distracted Driving).
Follow Jake Griffin on Twitter @JakeGriffin08 or visit jakegriffin.net.
The 1-800-CAR-CASH Mudsummer Classic (150 laps / 75 miles) is the 11th of 23 races on the 2015 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule. The first practice session of the day begins on Wednesday, July 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:25 a.m. A final practice session has been etched from 11:30 a.m. – 12:55 p.m. Qualifying to determine the starting positions for the individual heats is scheduled to lift off at 5:15 p.m. live on FOX Sports 2. The first of five heats will start a short time later beginning approximately at 7:00 p.m. The 32-truck starting field will take the green flag shortly after 9:00 p.m. with live coverage on FOX Sports 1, the Motor Racing Network (Radio) and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio (Satellite Radio, Channel 90. All times are local.
PHOTO CAPTION: Jake Griffin, driver of the No. 03 Advance Trading / Outdoor Power Inc. Chevrolet Silverado for Mike Affarno Motorsports in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS).
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